SpaceX to launch its 80th orbital mission of the year tonight

There will be yet another SpaceX launch tonight (Nov. 7), if all goes according to plan.

A Falcon 9 rocket is set to loft 23 more of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station tonight at 11:01 EST (0401 GMT on Nov. 8). If SpaceX cannot hit that window, seven backup opportunities are available between 11:23 p.m. EST and 3:00 a.m. EST (0423 to 0800 GMT), according to a SpaceX mission description

You can watch the action live via SpaceX’s account on X (formerly known as Twitter). Coverage will begin about five minutes before liftoff.

The Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth for a landing attempt about 8.5 minutes after launch on the drone ship Just Read the Instructions, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

It will be the 11th launch and landing for this rocket’s first stage, according to the mission description. 

The 23 Starlink satellites, meanwhile, are scheduled to deploy from the Falcon 9’s upper stage into low Earth orbit just under 65 minutes after liftoff.


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Tonight’s mission will be SpaceX’s 80th orbital launch of 2023. The majority of those flights have been devoted to building out the Starlink megaconstellation, which beams internet service down to customers around the world.

There are currently more than 5,000 operational Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.


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